Shadow Strike+Nightfall/Spammable Phantasmal Blades Spellbreaker- 70k/30k Sheet DPS

I suck at formatting posts, I already know that. This one borrows heavily in initial idea and some gearing from Chthon’s Warped Striker build, the acid variant. Any idiocy is mine not his - but it was the major inspiration to come up with this.

Warning - this is no one’s self-found gear build. Requires some very specific bits to make the damage conversions/skill additions work - this is pretty much go GD Stash or go home. Items were generated multiple times to find good ones, but they’re all legal spawns and not absolute maximums.

What I was aiming for was a Nightblade build that could use a strong Shadow Strike, with a Nightfall that wasn’t completely useless - easy enough so far. But I’m a stubborn idiot, so I wanted spammable P Blades to go with. Why? I hate being stuck with one modality of fighting. Sometimes, zooming in with SS is a great idea, nail the crowd. Sometimes, backing off a bit and gauss shotgunning the bastards is by far the saner idea. Most of the time, a combination of those two things that changes second to second as the situation develops is the best idea. This build reflects that. You got options at any given time. SS hits quite respectably at 70-ish, Nightfall’s running at about +1350ish % - not insta-melt but hardly useless. Blades comes in at about 30, not top tier but a solid medium dps for that - works fine on herds that love to line up or annoying explody things, and heals you/extra DPS in other situations. The combination is a lot of fun :slight_smile: And yes, you have about 80 mana regen, you can spam blades more or less all you like, regen supports it. SS damage is almost entirely acid/poison excluding the Nightfall bit - poison after the main hit is pretty ugly as we’re running at about 2200%. Acid running at 2400%. PB is oddly enough split pretty evenly tween acid/cold/vitality with a minor chaser of frostburn and poison over time.

Also, because I’m not a complete moron, I had some major requirements to go with: (With auras/non-proc constant buffs up) 2600 OA, 2400 DA, at least 12k hps, 135% run speed, 1900 or so armor, and full resists including stun, freeze, and entrapment - because you do NOT want to stop moving unless you’re throwing blades with this build. Stoppers suck - and you don’t need to care much about them. Semi-accidentally I also ended up with 24% physical resist and a 25% dodge chance for blades and arrows both - isn’t that nice?

Stat Split is pretty oldschool, but it’s a weird build when you’re trying to get decent mana regen and spell damage without using actual caster gear.
I went with 45 Physique, 10 Cunning (OA needed a bit of sprucing, and 55 Spirit to shore up mana/damage/OA/etc.

Grim Tools Link -

No, we didn’t go very deeply into Arcanist - skill point starvation is a very real thing with all the shiat we’re trying to do here. But we’ve at least got a 1 point Mirror, spirit/OA, and mana regen. These things were all damn hard to find otherwise for a small 2nd class investment, almost all the points are in Nightblade to make this work.

This is not theorycraft - I played this through an entire game, all quests/all areas cleared. (No Bourbon clones, Kraken, Mad Queen, Mogdrogen etc. - I’m not THAT big of a masochist. I DID beat Ulgrim up, couldn’t resist the Nightblade pissing contest. No idea on Crucible - not tried.)

Ye olde screencap: (This is with Pneumatic Burst and all permabuffs on - you need Pneuma to stay up for this build, important bonuses)

No, I don’t actually go around with them both on the mouse - that’s just to make the sheet dps show easily. Seriously recommend left as move to, right as blades, and SS can be whatever makes you happy. As stated previously, mobility is damn important here. You don’t want to be shadow striking stuff accidentally.

This isn’t a complicated build to play. Shadow Strike, pop off ring of steel to freeze any annoyances still alive and right next to you, and spread Rumor. Pop blades for some extra dps/health regen till SS comes back up, rinse repeat. Stuff that hits hard you’ll want to back up a couple steps and throw a few less blades. Use mirror if it gets really hairy, and you’ve a 1 point blade barrier as a secondary “Oh shiat!” button. The whole time your blade spirits will be happily shredding away at anything left staggering around, with Blizzard attached just for amusement. PB has acid spray on it so you don’t HAVE to shadow strike things for some resist break - helps when blade spamming which is totally something you can do if the targets are too annoying to SS at. Veil of Shadow dumps the resists of anything you get close to as well, good enough.
You’ve got two devotional heals, Giant’s Blood and Wayward soul, PB spam and Pneuma all going as heals before you even need to reach for a potion. Energy’s fine, potions not necessary there really. Came close while beating Ulgrim up, but didn’t quite have to use one.

So there you have it. Fight 100% at range against anything but the tankiest hit points sponge bosses, fight 100% close in with Shadow Strike, or just mix it up because that’s what works. Leech heal at will with PB, and laugh as stuff just kinda fall over as you zoom all over the screen. Now you’ve actually got something do while waiting for that 1.1 second cooldown on SS - and it’s something useful!

Improvements/ideas welcome - but be warned - this is a ridiculous spatchcock of devotions and such. Just about every single thing is there because without it we start having critical issues with something major, and this is the only way I could come up with to make it all mesh. Most of the them support themselves, it’s hilariously spread out. Not sure why it works, but it does. It is a completely goofy mare’s nest of damage conversions as well, mess with it at your peril sanity-wise. Changing items can cause amazing DPS drops - and the reasons aren’t always readily apparent.

Two things you could do pretty easily/safely if you were so inclined with be dumping the one ectoplasm component for something else if you’re ok with a lot less mana and a bit less regen, I found that annoying but ymmv. The Grey Magi boots are also a crappy piece other than providing the 80% trap resistance - if you’re ok with not having that then another piece, say green hp boots would get you to 14k or so hps pretty easy if that’s your bag. I’d rather have the -traps, and other viable sources of -80 came with even worse issues than meh boots.


Most builds that I see these days focus purely on Physique, only putting in minimum for gear on the other stats - DA and (more) HP from Physique is nice.

Note that Spirit does not give OA - only Cunning does that.

(Also, 981 Skeleton keys?!)

I am just gonna ahead and say it: this is very bad on all fronts.

To add to what mad_lee is saying, the biggest flaw (and it’s crippling at least if you’re trying to fight nems) is the fact that you have decided to go acid damage when you should go for cold damage on a breaker.

I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest flaw, since the only thing he took from Arcanist was OA and for some reason Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange. Build is just bad on so many levels.

That probably is because he’s relatively new? :eek:
Just calling something bad without adding something constructive, or without a small explanation isnt too nice.

Although i do agree that there are a lot of issues that would need to be addressed… Spanks’ point is correct too that the class combo definitely is not desirable for an acid build. Witch hunter is much better… or the up coming Dervish with forgotten gods.

I dunno. Then he might as well not take a second class. 9 times out of 10, Breakers = cold damage.

I honestly can’t think of a solid spellbreaker which doesn’t use cold damage, actually.

So, sure. It’s a mediocre ‘nightblade’ build, but acid damage = one crippled breaker.

You’d think, but it wasn’t working. Cold just wasn’t coming together with the gear/etc. assuming I wanted a usable spam blades as well. I’m all for specifics though - not sure what’s precisely hateful about it. DPS numbers aren’t terrible with strike and blades in combination, OA/DA are workable as far as I can tell - defenses aren’t complete nonsense. HPs aren’t huge, but for a hybrid piece of confusion it kinda works. What exactly chaps your hides?

IEE is there to make the mana regen make sense for semi-protracted blade spam. Only other alternative was ectoplasm on everything, which chimped other stuff to hell and sideways. Yes, some odd ways of getting some stats done here - but that’s mostly because other routes were blocked by needing them to get other stats done. Picking up any more arcanist beat up Nightblade points that were equally necessary for other defenses/etc.

Ok. I’ll lay out the specifics to the best of my ability:

  1. It’s not all about sheet dps. What’s your RR like? Anything below 100 RR is usually going to have a hard time becoming ‘top tier.’

  2. Your sheet dps is likewise a hodgepodge of damage types. Pierce, cold, acid. This makes it difficult to build RR for, and to stack % damage bonuses. What you have failed to do, is to convert damage types efficiently.

  3. Your OA and DA are terrible. Grava’thul will most likely one shot you. (Though you did mention that you don’t do super bosses. However, to me at least, a super boss is mog.) And even if he doesn’t, you’d be hard pressed to hit/crit him with you OA.

  4. Cold spammable PB breaker is possible. But you need to focus on just that skill. Everything should be built around it. You have the speaker of the dead tome, and deathbound amulet for vit --> conversion.

You have kra’vall shoulders for chaos to cold.

Getting a solid weapon help a lot too.

I could go on.

Occultist vs. Arcanist turned out worse, which surprised the fark out of me frankly. Vitality isn’t a big part of the damage with the conversions, and a little more acid/poison damage with none of it being flat was not helping appreciably. Anything else was way too far in to make it work.

(I’ve been around for ages, I just don’t post - so shrug. I can take getting yelled at - it’s all good.)

Forgot to comment on SS. If you want to build a SS breaker, then you’re looking at a breaker built around hard hitting nukes and cool-down reduction.

You want SS to be as close to 0s downtime, and you want to be able to cycle through nukes like ABB and RoS.

Because both ABB and RoS only uses mainhand weapon damage, you are most likely going to use Soulrend.

So how does one stack CDR? Well. Starpact in the arcanist class. It’s your biggest offensive and defensive skill.

It was so strong, that it’s been nerfed time after time again. in the past, it was possible to chain both blade barrier and mirror back to back, over and over again using Aeon’s.

The result was a breaker which couldn’t die while being able to blow everything up.

Don’t do a acid PB. No item in the game is able to modify the skill.

Do a vitality PB with demonslayer. THAT’S a top tier build. I should know, I more or less rekindled the love for the demonslayer set :rolleyes:

Imo, most of monsters can crit you and you can miss your hits. You OA/DA are way too low, should be at at least 2500 in order to be good. Although, for a melee build, you should aim for at least 2700 because most bosses have 2700 OA, and therefore they’ll be unable to crit you if you exceed the value a little bit. Imo, this build would be way better if you didn’t go Spell… I mean it’s rather a full Nightblade build. You should’ve gotten ABB instead of PB, as at this point you basically have a Cold/Acid character with no cold %.

You could’ve easily focused on Shadow Strike and Amarasta’s Blade Burst and deal way more damage, completing at least one set and choosing Occultist or Necromancer. You’re not getting anything from Arcanist, only Spirit and OA, which won’t affect your character because you still can miss your hits with that low OA. You shouldn’t have picked Malediction relic, you need more skillpoints and Nidalla’s Outbreak relic provides way more damage upon critting and if you get the Deathguard set you convert about 60% cold to Acid, so the Nidalla’s damage is even greater. You can also pick Deathstalker relic if you think you don’t need more skill points. Your amulet is totally out of place too, should’ve picked something that either boosts Nighblade mastery or adds acid damage.

  1. Veil of Shadow’s -30 or so, Acid Spray’s… 28? Some other miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t amount to much. One of my personal “Ehh’s” about the build certainly, but I really was out of viable ideas to put more on it.

  2. Pierce isn’t relevant to this build - thus the acid conversion etc. Was built around avoiding it - any gear with pierce boni was chosen for other stat reasons. Only two damage types I really tried to build for were acid/poison and cold, at about a 2/1 ration. Some vitality ended up creeping in there because it’s on a lot of gear that has the other damage types, but it’s pretty whatever.

  3. Hmm, ok - OA and DA have apparently changed again - le sigh. Last time I messed with this 2600 and 2400 were reasonable for caster hybrid types. Not sure how I can fix that so, point taken.

  4. Yep on the cold breaker being possible, but I had no luck with combining it with a usable SS - which more or less requires a 2h or dual wield to avoid gimpage. If I’ve missed such a build that combines both elements, please point me at it :slight_smile:

Feel free to go on - I’m quite interested in making this generally viable. (Well, ok it’s playable but more so in the forum sense I 'spose?) Comments appreciated - specific negative ones included

Look mate. It sounds like you’re already sold on your idea and you want to defend it. Which is perfectly fine. You wanted an acid breaker which could clear vanilla content, and you made one.


What I’m mentioning here however are the mechanics which underpin a top tier breaker.

You simply cannot make a SS’ing, PB-spamming breaker and expect it to run in the same league as the big boys. Even if both these skills deal cold damage.

EDIT: What’s your pierce to acid conversion? 30%?

With a breaker and the right items, you can easily get 60% pierce to cold conversion. More if you decide to use silver sentinel helm.

You can also get 30% acid to cold with silver sentinel shoulders, or deathmarked shoulders.

All you need to do is mouse over the sheet value on GT, and you will see that your acid damage makes up at most 2/3’s of your damage. You also need to ignore DoT as you can’t stack it with a spamming build.

Ok, lot of work with here I’ll go along in order:

OA and DA: My OA is 2600, but it should be at least 2500? Wait what? ;p DA is a bit lower than I’m in love with, but 2400 was what I could get out of it at the time - I’ll have to work on finding 300 more or so.

ABB/etc: I plain don’t like ABB, I’m a fan of blades - purely why it went this way. More about QOL for my play than best DPS combination.

Arcanist: Still finding the OA comments confusing, but I’ve covered that. It’s apparently about 100 short of ideal, but that’s not horror show level. /Confused. Any other classes that even made remote sense came out worse, in overall damage/OA drop/what have you considering the low point investment I had to make with all the NB points. I tried Occultist, and Soldier, and fiddled with a few others. Nothing was an improvement overall, and the mana regen tanked to PB spam unusuability.

Malediction: Is providing way more damage than Nidallia’s or anything else with the aura - I’ve tried both other options you’ve mentioned - less damage in both cases, not even a maybe with the aura taken into account.

Amulet: Confused even me, but any other amulet is coming up with way, way less damage. Do I know why? Nope. But it is. Even +1 all skills, acid adders, etc. all came out with 4-12k less damage on blades or SS. Yes, seriously. Maybe the +frostburn to PB? I dunno. Counterintuitive but that’s what happens when I try it in the game.

ill just leave this here

or my dervish variant

I think this argument is best settled with another GT link.

This is an screenshot of your GT breakdown:

This is a screenshot of a cold SS breaker without ANY devotions, or affixes attached to items:

EDIT: There are also no augments. The only components used were coldstone and shard of beronath

2nd EDIT: We are also ignoring the fact that this guy has -70% cold RR just from items and skills alone.

Hmm - to be clear, I’m defending it, but only as a mediocre “This combination is fun to play, and the damage/stats are doable” not as a “You can kick more arse than 10 commandos” build. Only listed the dps in the title to provide some sort of comparison metric. I’m also finding it hard NOT to respond to specific stuff that I’ve already tried that has come up worse when I’ve tried it in game - so there’s that. (Not so much for you, you’ve been more “The whole combo isn’t going to be great” which is entirely reasonable and not wrong - it’s a weird combination of things. This is why I’m soliciting specifics, and refuting shiat I’ve already tried and discarded as proven not working. Notice I am NOT even remotely contending that there aren’t better acid/poison or cold based strikers - I’m just trying to build a specific and weird combination of abilities. Not so much interested in arguing everything as I am in “Ok, this is an odd build, I’ve gotten this far, is there much to improve it that doesn’t fundamentally change the build mechanics?” if that makes any sense.